crochet, knitting and the whole damn thing

Aunt C learned crochet from a Presentation nun, which was to stand to her all her life. To my eight-year-old mind, she made spiderwebs and flowers and grasses come to life out of boring old mercerised cotton. Out of her hands came christening robes and tops and tablecloths, a wedding dress, a Communion dress four of us wore and loved. I didn’t think of what she made as fusty then, and I appreciate it on a whole other level now.

I look at the work of my friends who crochet- N, who made a Spiderman blanket and another N whose first crochet project was a triangular shawl in shades of berry and spice- and I see them in the same way. I cannot believe what they’ve done with that magical equation of yarn + time + hook. Crochet is not fusty. Crochet has beauty, timelessness, energy, elegance and even a sense of humour about it. And just like knitting or any other art form of the like, some use it to amazing ends (Aoibhe Ni, are your ears burning? They should be!) and others forget the helpful maxim, “just because I can, doesn’t mean I necessarily should”.

Recently, two people (one on crochet and the other on knitting) have misrepresented both, when a few minutes research would have uncovered the incredible resource that is Ravelry. Ravelry would’ve answered any questions they had, put a few myths to rest and everyone would’ve been happy. Oh well..

So, to review: plenty of people knit in Ireland, and crochet is about many things beyond doilies. I could go into much more detail- line by line refutation- but it strikes me that neither party is willing to listen, considering that one of them talked of being “misinterpreted” when offered her own direct quotes.


what do we have here? (another FO post)

I thought I might share something I’ve finished lately- something I’ve made for myself. Through the good offices of Himself aka Husband Elect, I got my hands on the most beeeyooootiful, squishable Malabrigo Silky Merino (scroll down to the end and look for Velvet Grapes) as part of the Ringsend Cowl kit from This is Knit.

It’s a beautifully simple knit, and while it turned out a little larger than I might have liked (possibly to my wimpish self only steam blocking it), that’s just an excuse to make a shawl pin (*hat tip to a certain Twitter Knitter*). This calls for those deep pinky-purple Czech beads I’ve been saving for that perfect project..

Anyway, take a shufti below. Isn’t this a great shot?

Ringsend Cowl- isn't she an aul' beaut?

Styling and photography by Julie of Half A Dream Away.

I plan to make it again, but this time in Purple Mystery. And yes, I’ll make another shawl pin..

don’t mind me, taking the scenic route..

So, remember when I said my next personal crafty project was the ballet wrap in the deleeeecious cotton?

Yeah. About that. Owing to certain problems finding proper needles, I got a little side-tracked. Y’know, taking the scenic route through my To Be Made queue. Here’s what I’m working on at the moment:

Nice, eh?

Nice, eh? It’s the Featherweight Cardigan from KnitBot, to be found here and on Ravelry.

I am currently almost halfway through but am facing the daunting task of weaving in ends that are *ahem* not at the edges of the garment or at the underarms, as the Experienced Knitters would have done. *hangs head*

You can see the cardigan in more detail here. Isn’t it a beaut? I do not have much experience with shaping and the like, and the pattern is simple enough for a n00b like meself to get it on the first go (thank feck).

Next up, the Pas de Deux– if I find the right needles..

end of hiatus, and a new project

Gosh, it has been rather a while, hasn’t it?

In the interim, there was

– a schlep over to Berlin (the zoo! OMFG the petting zoo! With zombie sheeps!);

– a birthday (now we are 26- I am awaiting the Fairy Godmother of Maturity to come cosh me over the head aaaaaaaaaaaany minute now);

– a great deal of cake (and fruit and vegetables, Maman. Yes, I am eating my apple)


– beadswoolpaperinkhooksandneedlesnotionsthreadsembroiderysilk* *pant pant pant wheeeeeeeeeeeeze*

I need a little sit down after all that. In the meantime, all things crafty continue apace but with the latest load of feltables nearing completion, I am looking out for something I can knit for myself. (I know! I feel nearly guilty just typing that.) I have settled upon a pattern I found in Woman’s Weekly called ‘Pas de deux’. A ballet wrap, of all things, in such beautiful yarn: Bergere de France Cotons Nature (Platre on this page). It is not a colour I would normally choose, but for this pattern, it really works.

I have many a project queued on Ravelry right now (I’m watermemory there, but of course), but the prospect of the many, many yarn substitutions I will have to make in order to work on them is rather daunting. I’ve seen experienced knitters substitute yarn, and it usually goes like this:

[Wayne’s World-esque dream sequence moment]

Novice Knitter: “I trust my humble offering of bath salts and wrist pads will not go amiss, oh Experienced Knitter- I am in great need of your help.”

Experienced Knitter: *grumbles, grudgingly looks over the offerings* “Fine. What is it this time?”

NK: *bows head* “Yarn substitution.” *flails around, sobbing* “It’s hopeless! The original pattern calls for a yarn is dyed with the tears of year old goats and is a cotton/ polystyrene/ yak furball blend, produced in the US for precisely six weeks…”

EK: *in trance* “Yardage,  swatching, taking into consideration variables schmergedy mergedy and flim flam…”

*A low hum, seeming to come from the earth itself. The stash basket starts to glow with an eerie green light before spewing out a few skeins of yarn*

EK: “Ha! It is done. Tell no-one of what you have seen.”

NK: “Uh…” *scampers off with the new yarn, hides under table and whimpers*

Aaaaaand we’re back in the room. Now, all that remains is to wait for my delectable new yarn. Expect some photos of the thing in progress- but I’ll leave out the ones of me, wild-haired and cursing because I forgot to read ahead in the pattern..

*on a sesame seed bun? (You’re fired- Ed.)

did someone say, “sneak preview?”

Ah, January- not only home of delightfully crisp diary pages and finishing the stragglers in the Thornton’s box, but one of those months that is chock-full of sneak previews of Ripping Good Stuff (TM). Let me just channel the spirit of Jesse of Jesse’s Diets Fame to get in the mood:

So, to the jewellery..

This year so far, I are bin’ mostly indulgin’ my new-found love of shell. Last year I introduced some chunkier neckpieces, using shell paired with Bali or Hill Tribe silver or Swarovski crystal. This year, a little more of the same but with new, contrasting materials.

You can expect more use of various fibres in my jewellery- silk and felt and organza oh my!-as well as a bit of fabric here and there. Think wearable, elegant multi-media pieces that don’t itch, damnit.

I am also working on a range for people who like their jewellery a bit more lean– expect silver, wood and a bit of knotwork.

In my fibre work- more crochet this year than last. More lovely small bits and bobs to adorn yourself and your home for not too much spendage, and in lovely new yarn blends. I will be paying attention to wool alternatives for my vegetarian and vegan friends, so expect a bit more on that.

Papercrafts will involve a couple of new techniques here and there (awfully curious about quilling, for one!), and an increased usage of recycled and/ or reclaimed materials.

Overall, 2010 in WaterMemory Towers will be about continuity- I tried some new things in 2009 and they worked- as well as a few new bits and surprises, and expanding my merciless dominion of the Internets. (Well, a shop at DaWanda is as good a place to start as any, right?) Sustainability is not going to go by the wayside with me, just because times are tough. You can expect me to continue paying keen attention to where my supplies come from, continuing my support for smaller suppliers and choosing the ethical alternatives.